Too Early to Write off Chelsea in the League Title Race?

If Chelsea were given a proper wake-up call after the 2-2 draw with Swansea on the opening day, it appears that Jose Mourinho and his men have not woken up to the reality. Mourinho may have classified the 3-0 thrashing against Manchester City as a ‘fake result’, but his team were outplayed in all departments. Making a strong start was a major factor in lifting the league title last season. The champions already have a lot to do in this campaign, as they trial City by five points.

A popular saying is that it does not make any sense to look at the table just two games into the campaign. Whereas it is impossible to win the league after five games, it is almost easy to throw it away. Chelsea appear to be in the process of the same. After a winless pre-season, the club was hoping for much improved performances when the actual season began. It would be easier to motivate players for important games rather than for just pre-season friendly games. Even after making a poor start, Ivanovic believes that it is too early to write Chelsea off. He said:

“At the moment, yes it looks a big gap – two games, five points – but we have to look at our situation and improve.

“It was a very difficult game for us but we can come back. This is the Premier League. Every game is another final so we have to look forward.

“We know what we haven’t done well in the first two games but there is another 36 and we have to improve ourselves.”

While rivals have gone from strength to strength by signing new players, Chelsea have largely remained stale. The starting line-up against City and Swansea was largely similar to the group used for much of last season. This philosophy is completely different from Sir Alex Ferguson’s mentality at Manchester United. The Scot always splurged on new players just after having won a title. This meant that the players were always kept on their toes with regard to their positioning in the squad, while opposition also had little time to learn the new style of play.

The lack of any major changes to Chelsea’s system, players, and tactics is a major factor in the lack of good results at the start of this campaign. The recent signing of left back Baba Rahman from Augsburg will do little to change the style of play. A lot of important players like Cesc Fabregas, Diego Costa, and Eden Hazard are not contributing to the level they are capable of. One can expect significant changes going into Sunday’s match against West Brom. Confidence will be very low in the team at the moment and it remains to be seen if they can overcome against what will be a very tough opposition.